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per will analyze the opinions expressed by two prominent authors on religious phenomenon and tolerance and explain their profound influence on my understanding of concepts like religion, morality and tolerance.
In his article titled ‘This Is a Religious War: September 11 was Only the Beginning’, the author Andrew Sullivan expresses his opinions on various issues related to religion, inter-faith clashes and religious fundamentalism. Many of my opinions on religious phenomenon and tolerance have in fact been shaped on Sullivan’s views and arguments.
Sullivan says that in principle, faith is a form of conflict with reason, which in effect implies that it is in conflict with science. He further says that the only ultimate truth is god and that science can never disprove this true faith as it rests on truth. Science or reasoning can thus never find reason for conflict with this truth. I also find his interpretation of religious evolution as an interesting observation on human civilization and development. The belief that god created the universe does imply that any explanation on its formulation cannot find reason to contradict its creator, in other words find fault with any faith as all of them reconcile to the truth that will always remain beyond our fullest perception and understanding.
Sullivan undoubtedly encourages religious tolerance by taking a harsh stand on fundamentalism across all religions. He not only criticizes the justification of violence as a means of achieving religious ends, but also despises fundamentalism as an obstacle in introducing doubt into the faith and its reluctance to encourage human reason. In fact, the cornerstone of religious tolerance is to rid oneself of exclusion and pride and to treat mystery as the primary reality behind any religious pursuit. While this may uphold truth that cannot be proven empirically, it nevertheless does not provide room for any hatred against other faiths.
In January 2008, the noted psychologist
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